Working Together To Save Lives

On Saturday evening, a worker from Mokndoma, about 50 minutes northwest of Wamena called me and asked for a medevac flight from Lumo, an airstrip close to Mokndoma. Usually, we don’t do medevacs at airstrips as MAF or other fixed-wing operators are able to do them, but he reported that there was extensive pig damage to the airstrip and no airplane would be able to land. 

A lady had given birth at 6 pm to a healthy baby, but she was bleeding heavily and it could not be stopped, and the placenta wasn’t coming out. She kept passing in and out of consciousness so we weren’t sure if she would make it through the night. 

I got up early Sunday morning to prepare the helicopter while the worker at Mokndoma hiked up the mountain trying to get a cell signal to Lumo and found out that the woman was still alive. The weather was beautiful, and I was able to fly directly to Lumo. I kept the helicopter running while the locals ran off to get the patient with our stretcher. The local pastor was very grateful for our help and prayed over the patient before she was put into the helicopter. It was a very moving moment as we could all feel the urgency, but he stopped everyone and called on the name of our great physician who alone can give us our next breath. It is so easy to get in the mindset that it is us saving lives, but in fact it’s only by God’s grace that we can be the tools that He uses. We quickly loaded the patient into the helicopter along with two family members and the new baby and flew directly to Mulia where an ambulance was waiting to take them to the hospital. 

On Monday, I received the news that the lady was stable, but would need an operation that wasn’t possible in Mulia. MAF picked her up by plane and transferred her to Nabire to get the help she needed. It is a real joy to serve along- side different aid organizations here. We all work together towards a common goal, to save lives!

Matt, pilot